I am a 1971 graduate of Enumclaw High School and am very proud of the education I received in Enumclaw schools during the 12.5 years I attended. My roots go back to Byron Kibler elementary, J.J. Smith grade school, the old junior high and EHS. My mother and father both attended Enumclaw schools before me. My grandfather once served on the Enumclaw School Board representing the interests of the small coal-mining communities of Durham, Kangley, Bayne and Selleck whose children have long attended Enumclaw schools.
I also live in Black Diamond, on Lake Sawyer in the Tahoma School District. My children attend Tahoma where they are receiving a fine education, every bit as fine as I received in Enumclaw so many decades ago.
Though I am Enumclaw bred with maroon and gold coursing through my Hornet veins, I must oppose the Enumclaw School District’s attempts to annex the Tahoma School District property generally referred to as the North Triangle area. My opposition stems from one of fairness and equity. The city of Black Diamond is poised to grow. Growth will bring new tax revenue to support all the citizens of Black Diamond. The three school districts which Black Diamond encompasses (Kent School District, Enumclaw and Tahoma) will also benefit from the future growth. Each will receive a proportionate share of that annual real estate tax revenue based upon the land that each district has historically serviced. The TSD-based citizens of Black Diamond are not second-class. They are just as deserving of a proportionate share of commercial-based property tax revenue as the ESD-based citizens and the KSD citizens are of their respective share. Anyone who is familiar with the proposed Yarrow Bay MPD plans will realize that the lion’s share of commercial growth will take place in the ESD area of Black Diamond. Apparently though, the lion’s share is not enough for this superintendent and school district. In my humble opinion, this attempted land grab reeks of greediness.
I can see no persuasive or logical reason why the North Triangle commercial growth tax revenue should flow to ESD rather than TSD. The only rationale that the proponents of the transfer put forth was as follows:
“All the students who will live in future homes in the MPD will attend the Enumclaw School District. The City, District and Yarrow Bay already have a plan in place for the future students. It seems logical that the taxes from the growth connected to the MPD support the students who will live here as well.”
However, this logic is flimsy. Many of the students who will live closest to this “North Triangle” MPD commercial area will attend Tahoma schools. The Enumclaw School District will surely receive all the impact fees from the construction of new homes in the MPDs. Why shouldn’t the Tahoma School District at least receive the commercial tax revenue from this very small portion of future commercial growth which is closest to the Tahoma students living in Black Diamond?
I oppose this transfer of land from TSD to ESD and ask that the Enumclaw School District be slightly more conscious of the fact that a significant contingent of Black Diamond parents and children attend and associate with Kent and Tahoma schools.